NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill into law aimed at cracking down on the sale of stolen catalytic converters in Connecticut.
The law implements new requirements on how motor vehicle recyclers, scrap metal processors, junk dealers, junkyard owners and operators, and motor vehicle repair shops receive and sell catalytic converters.
This bill signing comes as catalytic converter thefts remain on the rise in recent years.
“Cracking down on the theft and vandalism of motor vehicles requires a multifaceted approach, and one of those tactics includes making it more difficult for criminals to profit from the sale of stolen parts,” Lamont said. “This law also enacts new requirements that will help law enforcement more easily track down who is selling stolen parts and put a stop to their criminal activity. I thank the bipartisan members of the legislature for approving this bill and sending it to my desk so that I could sign it into law today. The easy ability to sell stolen parts is a major reason why motor vehicle theft and vandalism occurs, and this law will help serve as a deterrent.”
Under the new law, it will be illegal for motor vehicle recyclers to receive a catalytic convertor unless it’s physically attached to a car. In addition, recyclers must affix or write a stock number on the part and create a written record of the transaction.
According to the bill, scrap metal processors, junk dealers, and junkyard owners and operators cannot accept a catalytic converter that is not physically attached to a motor vehicle, unless they:
- Record the place and date of the transaction, a description of the catalytic converter, and the amount paid;
- Record a description of the seller and the seller’s name, address, and driver’s license number;
- Affix or write a stock number on the catalytic converter;
- Record the license plate number of the motor vehicle that was used to transport the catalytic converter;
- Obtain from the seller a statement that they own the catalytic converter; and
- Take a photograph or video of the seller and their driver’s license.
The law goes into effect on July 1, 2022.
Stonington police detective and Republican State Rep. Greg Howard said requiring an identification number with each part has worked at pawn shops.
“Countless times, I’ve recovered stolen cameras, cell phones, computers because of the serial numbers when the documentation takes place at a pawn shop,” he said. “We mostly tried to make it a little bit more of a process for folks to sell these things, especially when they’re stolen.”
Police said they will be able to track down suspects faster with thorough documentation.
“We didn’t have a way of confirming these catalytic converters that were being scrapped actually belonged to the person scrapping them. Now, they must show proof of that,” said New Haven Assistant Police Chief Karl Jacobson.
Jacobson said police departments across the state will have to make sure auto recyclers are complying with the law once it goes into effect.